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KTM RC 390 Cup in the driving report

Fountain of youth for MOTORCYCLE testers

Even before the road machine, the Mattighofner presented the KTM RC 390 Cup. It serves as an introduction to racing for young drivers, but is also a lot of fun for older testers.

KRiding a small motorcycle in mixed race practice is a difficult thing. Usually a short straight is enough for the 600, 1000 or 1200 drivers to overtake 250 or 400 drivers. Unfortunately, the curve after that is often enough to get in their way.

KTM RC 390 Cup in the driving report

Fountain of youth for MOTORCYCLE testers

KTM RC 390 Cup on the small racetrack in Magione, Umbria, to turn the gas to your heart’s content among louder motorized vehicles. This route is only a little over 2.5 kilometers long, but has some tricky passages and is made for a nimble, 38 hp motorcycle.

Correctly read and correctly written: The Cup version of the KTM RC 390 has been reduced by 6 hp compared to the later production version. Those responsible at ADAC, the organizers of the Junior Cup, did not want to let the difference in performance compared to last year’s Cup machine become too great and therefore insisted on throttling. It may be that the open version turns out even more energetically, but nobody in Magione missed the missing horsepower. Especially since the KTM RC 390 Cup got down to business in the medium speed range and was optimally short for the route. The RC even pulled hard in third gear from the narrowest right-hand loop in the old section of the track. Attempts in the second only brought more switching hectic when switching from left to right lean. And at the end of the long straight the single cylinder turned until just before the limiter.

KTM RC 390 Cup brakes spontaneously and energetically

What came after that was a real test for the chassis and the pilots’ knowledge of the route. Brake briefly and crisply, shift down two gears and merge into a fast right-hander over a series of bumps. The KTM RC 390 Cup hisses close to the inner curbs towards the outer ones, again with a firm pull on the rear wheel it connects the first with the second right-hand bend into a single, wonderfully fast curve and arrows in front of the third right-hand bend in a row, a relatively tight 90 degree hook.

Before we continue, now is the time to take a deep analytical breath. What exactly did we just experience? Spontaneously and energetically, the brake bit, the KTM RC 390 Cup found the chosen line precisely. On the abundant bumps in the road, the fork and strut bounced wide, but well damped. In contrast to the series machine, the fork and shock absorber are fully adjustable, complex parts from WP. Of course, the damping for the racetrack and the somewhat delayed juniors among the testers could have been set a little tighter in the compression stage, especially since the engine spoiler on the right often touches down even in faster corners. But that can be compensated for with skillful physical exertion and more hanging-off. A good workout that helps to pull the rust out of your joints.

M7 RR better than the M5 in almost every respect

The KTM RC 390 Cup rolled on the Metzeler Sportec M5 because the successor M7 RR was not yet available. The M5 presented itself as a real road tire in a good and a less good sense, "starts" quickly, works over a wide temperature range and shows hardly any wear on the light machine. On the other hand, it lacks the steering precision and crystal-clear feedback of a real racing tire, not to mention its maximum grip. Initial tests with the M7 RR, albeit in other dimensions, have shown that it works better than the M5 in almost every respect. So there is clear progress to be expected.

Further in the round. This is followed by one of the most enjoyable passages in Magione and above all with the KTM RC 390 Cup. Brake, fold to the right, accelerate briefly, quickly turn to the left, turn to the right again and then to the left again, whereby you should accelerate early on with a full pull on the short home straight. How easy and snappy it is! The driver just has to be careful not to turn in too quickly out of sheer euphoria and smear the front wheel. The load changes, the constant throttle on, throttle closed in this orgy of curves, by the way, are exemplary and inconspicuous.

After the home straight, the brakes are required again before a right turn. In conjunction with the thick 320 tuning disc, the Indian Brembo replica survives this much longer braking maneuver and does not reveal any symptoms of fading even when braking into the left-hand bend that follows shortly thereafter. The next lap begins at full speed. And another and another. And with every lap the KTM RC 390 Cup makes you a little younger again.

Technical data KTM RC 390 Cup

Engine: Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves, rocker arms, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O -ring chain, secondary ratio 45:15.

Bore x stroke: 89.0 x 60.0 mm
Displacement: 375 cm³
Compression ratio: 12.6: 1
Rated output: 27.9 kW (38 PS)

Landing gear: Steel tubular frame, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, standing, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single -disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston Fixed caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 230 mm, single-piston floating caliper.

Cast aluminum wheels: 3.00 x 17; 4.00 x 17
Tires: 110/70 ZR 17; 150/60 ZR 17

Dimensions + weights: Wheelbase 1340 +/- 15 mm, steering head angle 66.5 degrees, caster 88 mm, weight with a full tank * 138 kg, tank capacity 10.0 liters.

Color: black-orange
Price: around 8,600 euros

* Manufacturer information

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